It was round the side of a packed Devonshire Arms that I got a chance to talk to Alt- Rock band As Sirens Fall. Well I got to chat to two of them, as the others were still in transit, barreling down the motorway at that point. Fortunately Jason and Adam who play bass and guitar respectively were more than happy to have a chat. First getting together in late 2014, they are a band who have been steadily gaining in popularity with a growing number of fans around Europe and a loyal following on their home turf in West Yorkshire. Their debut EP Hospital Party released in 2016, was received enthusiastically by critics and fans alike.
The five-piece have built on this success with a busy gigging schedule playing a number of Festivals. They hit up Europe earlier this year with a tour to support their EP Where Lost Things Go, which was another hit with fans, including many for whom English is not their first language. You can see the video for their most recently released ‘Lily’ a little further down the page.
Hi guys nice to meet you would you like to introduce yourself?
Jason: I’m Jason and I play bass
Adam: I’m Adam and I play guitar
The rest of the band are in the van at the moment?
J: Yeah, they’re all currently on their way down to Camden.
A: We’re the clever ones who travelled last night. We’re based in a town called Keighley in West Yorkshire not far from Leeds.
I’m interested in the name, is it referring to police sirens or a mythical reference?
J: It’s a mythical reference, our original logo had the a reference to Greek mythology with a Siren at the top of it and we selected it because we thought it was a cool name. As we’ve developed we’ve progressed beyond that and our logo has changed a bit. We’ve moved entirely beyond that now and the meaning of the band has changed as well. We now have a message advocating for positive mental health down to personal experiences we’ve had. All our lyrics are also based around that theme now.
Did the band always have an idea that it would advocate for mental health awareness?
J: No not really, it kind of grew out of our shared experience and as we kept playing together the message began to inform our lyrical subject matter. For instance one of our early songs was about gambling in Vegas and as we moved on as a band so too did our material and the content that we produced.
The band have been very keen advocates of initiating a dialogue about the importance of mental health and how we can bring about a positive approach to discussing it. Lead singer Mikey Lord set up WANDY (We Are Not Dead Yet) which aims at tackling the stigma associated with mental health issues and provides a forum for help and discussion. You can find out more here: https://wearenotdeadyet.co.uk/
Who Would you say were your main influences?
J: I grew up listening to bands like Guns and Roses and a bit of Bruce Springsteen. Brian Adams was quite a big influence and then also bands like Sum 41. The first album that I ever bought All Killer No Filler. Green Day were also a big influence on me.
A: I grew up in the thick of the Emo phase. However I started out with my brother showing me bands like Aerosmith and Guns and Roses. Also my favourite band Therapy, who we’re very excited to be sharing a main stage with. The first show I ever went to was Therapy so I can’t quite believe we’re going to play with them. Bands like that shaped my childhood. When I was in sixth form though, I started listening to bands like to (pre I’m Not OK) My Chemical Romance. I went to see them at Manchester Academy and I’d never seen anything like it. Taking Back Sunday and The Used were also big influences. It was from around that point that I started playing music live. My taste is very eclectic,I listen to all kinds of stuff. I’m a huge Elton John fan, I’d say that sort of music is the main influence on my writing.
What’s the best gig you’ve played to date?
J: For me it was probably Bingley Music Live in 2016. We were playing on the mainstage and there were bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and Travis, All Saints, Tinie Tempah and We Are Scientists. It was a very varied line up with an absolutely massive stage. The whole day as was a fantastic experience. We’ve played a lot of intimate shows which are my some of my favourite as well, when we do headline shows in Leeds the fans always sing along. It was like that at out EP launch show, the EP had been out for about two days and fans knew the words to all of the songs.
A: I’d say if it wasn’t for my arm that would have been my favourite gig. To have an EP out for two days and have people singing every single word is the most amazing thing ever. However two days before the show I had surgery on a torn bicep where they had to drill through my bone so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to play. I taught somebody to do all my basslines in case I couldn’t. In the end I played eight songs out of the twelve in our set. Then we did a European tour where I had a sling on for the whole time. I can straighten my arm now but it’s still a work in progress.
How was touring Europe?
J: It was really cool we loved it. We were treated so well all the promoters and it was great getting to see all these places you wouldn’t normally visit as a tourist. You’re travelling through quite a few towns and cities and all the people seem really nice.
A: I think the coolest thing for me is when people turn up to a show and they say we’ve been watching you on Youtube for three years. You’re in some town in the middle of nowhere in France and it’s mad. We’re so grateful that people came all that way to see you for the first time. We even had a roomful of people singing along in a student town called Metz in France. The most amazing thing is barely any of them even spoke English. You couldn’t understand have a conversation with them but they were singing along. I think some might not have fully understood but were just going along with it but it was great.
J: It was like you with Rammstein
A: Oh yeah, someone had to correct me on what some of their words mean. I was singing them in Belgium and then somebody explained what they meant and I’d just been walking around shouting these lyrics. It’s always worth checking what they mean on google translate.
Any other bands you’re looking forward to seeing play today?
J: Death Remains, Miss Vincent, we played with them in our old band, we’ve never played with them as As Sirens Fall though so it will be good to share a stage again with those guys. There’s so many other great bands about as well, Twin Harmonic, I’d love to see PIL if I get the chance. Rews who we played with at Bingley music live.
A: We also had dinner with Rews in the canteen but we haven’t actually seen them yet, it looks like they’re doing very well. I’d like to see some bands I’ve never heard of as well.
What are the plans for the band looking forward?
J: We’ll be bringing another single out hopefully before the end of the year which will have a video. We’re doing some festivals and will have a few more dates to announce later on in the year I should imagine. We’re working on getting a few things together at the moment so watch this space.
Anything else you’d like to say?
A: Check out out music on the internet, it’s on everything you could imagine, google it and you’ll find us. If you like come along to a show because that’s what it’s all about, having a good night meeting new people and having fun.